The Instigator
Furyan5
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA
Con (against)
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0 Points

free will is an illusion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 761 times Debate No: 73566
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (29)
Votes (0)

 

Furyan5

Pro

I believe that no choice we make is our own but rather a realisation of what the obvious choice is.

Bop will be upon me to provide proof.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

Go ahead.
Debate Round No. 1
Furyan5

Pro

Every action has a cause and effect. Unless we just reacting without thinking.... for instance slapping someone who makes you angry. ( not by choice) every other choice has a different expected outcome. we will always choose the outcome which is more preferable to us. This choice is based on personality/preferances/past experiences. these 3 p's are constant unless an external influence alters them. Therefore you will always make the same choice in the same situation. In a different situation you may make a different choice, but its the situation that has altered your choice. Having choices does not mean you have choice if there is only one choice you can make.

Lets try an example....

A teacher asks your class "Who likes milk?"
Your choices are a) raise your hand or b) dnt raise your hand.
Factors affecting your choice
1) do you like milk? (Preferance)
2) are you honest? (Personalty)
3) are you shy or afraid to draw attention to yourself? (Personality)
4) what happened last time you raised your hand? (Past experience)

If you were in that class now, would you raise your hand?
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

The preference of liking milk is indeed involuntary, so is one's personality. Nonetheless, the actual decision mad eis made by one's free will as without it, the person would do neither a nor b.
Debate Round No. 2
Furyan5

Pro

Doing neither a nor b is option c. Also a choice. But having choices does not mean we have choice. At any moment in time we can only make 1 choice. That choice is based on predetermined factors. Therefore its not free. people always say "I can raise my hand if I want to, therefore I have free will. This summise is faulty. Nobody out of the blue just desides let me raise my hand..... there has to be a purpose. Even if you do it just to prove you have free will, that is the purpose. Your thoughts have led you to the conclusion that raising your arm proves you have free will. Denial that you dnt is the motivation.

This may be unusual, but lets try a little experiment.

Pick something you can do.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Furyan5

Pro

Every decision is based on 3 vectors. Good/bad, benefit/detriment and like/dislike.

Good/bad: some believe we are fundimentally good. Some believe the opposite. Its irrelevant for this argument as its fundinental and therefore not a choice. At any given moment we cant be both good and bad. If you are prone to doing good you will always do good. In the case of two choices both being good we can attach a value to each option. Giving R2 to a poor person is good. Giving R10 is gooder...(forgive my misuse of the english language but I dnt want to cause confusion between better benefit/detriment and better good/evil) so on the vector good/evil, R2 might be value +1 and R10 might be +5. Kicking the poor person would be -7 and a choice with no moral factor would be 0. if the choices are both evil we would choose the lowest evil vector. These values may change in time, be it a year, a month or even a few seconds but only an external event can alter the values. But the point is that every choice has a moral value and we will always choose the highest. Well you may argue that you sometimes choose bad....we'll get to that.

I apologise if I seem to be plodding along but not everyone grasps concepts easily so I'm going as slow as I can. If I'm going to fast please feel free to ask for explanations in comments. But after the debate pls.

Vector benefit/detriment
As in Good/bad we will always choose a beneficial choice over a detrimental one. Unless one is suicidal, in which case the opposite would apply. Same rules apply. One cant be suicidal and want to live. So at any one moment you can only be one. In the case of 2 options both being beneficial we will choose the most beneficial. In the case of 2 detrimental choices we choose the least detrimental. Again each choice has a set value at any given moment and if both choices have the same value the they cancel each other out. Nb. Its important to note the + and - sign. Only 2 +4's cancel each other out. In this case choice can't be decided by this vector. Again you say you sometimes make detrimental choices.....be patient a little longer. We nearly there.

Vector like/dislike
Unlike Good/Evil, like/dislike is variable. Its learnt by past experience and open to change. Mood, weather, bodily needs are a few examples of factors which affect like/dislike. But we have just as much control over our mood as we do over the weather at any given moment. If we sad we can't choose to be happy. We can take action to change our mood but this is only to achieve a better result which we learnt by past experiences. So even the choice to change our mood is decided by past experience. As above we can give each choice a value depending on how much we like or dislike something. + being like and - being dislike with 0 being things we niether like or dislike and also things we have no experience here. Its important to note that personality plays a role in new experiences. Ie someone open to trying new things is more likely to try new things. Well that opens the debate to "isn't personality choice" ?

Lets consider that. Where does personality come from? A soul?.... do you get to choose your soul?
genetic???? Lol if only we COULD choose our parents :-)))
Some claim personality arrises from past experiences.....well you can't change those either.
If I'm missing an option please enlighten me

But its irrelevant. At any given moment you can only have one personality. Change neccesitates action. Something beyond our control causes the change. Be it circumstances or hormonal its not our choice.

Finally....conflict
Conflict arrises when a choice offers + on one vector but - on another. For instance smoking feels nice but its unhealthy and bad. Ie good/evil -5 like/dislike +7 benefit/detriment -3. These values may vary from person to person and even personally from time to time, depending on mood etc. But at any given moment these values are set. Its at this point that we become aware of our thought process as calculating variables requires higher brain function. So we look at the sum total of each choice. -5+7-3=-1. Not smoking would be +1. Note that these are my values. Feel free to create your own calculations with your own values. So we may do something with a negative moral value, but only if the benifit and like value outwiegh it. We will not by itself choose a negative option, unless we are faced with 2 negative options and no other alternative. In this case we would choose the lesser of two evils. Pun intended.

I think we need a rest here, its a lot to take in.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

It is definitely clear that Pro and I have different definitions of free will here. I am sorry to Pro for this misunderstanding as I feel maybe it's my fault.

Pro believes that free will means that absolutely nothing influences one's decisions and that every single aspect of any given scenario is within one's conscious control. If this is free will then it basically is a debate of whether we are all god or not and yes as an atheist I believe god is definitely an illusion. On the other hand, I prefer the looser interpretation of free will, which is actually the one most go by; the capacity to choose between more than one option with conscious effort to reach the decision.

In other words, for me this debate boils down to what free will really is.

To me it's accepting that while things influence decisions, decisions are undeniably made by that individual and they deserve full blame for the consequences.

We throw rapists into prison because we assume they chose to rape. If there is no free will, no one should go to prison and you should just laugh along as some guy rapes your mother, girlfriend, daughter or sister and cheer as someone murders all those you love. They can't help it, after all, so why punish them? WRONG! They chose to do it and that filthy mongrel must scream in agony as they are buttf***d nightly in a prison shower. That is the beauty of this world. if they really did bad they will even scram beneath the power of electricity.

This world is not a nice place. Everyone's out for themselves. We can only punish those who use their free will to look out for themselves too much in a way we deem 'evil'.

This must be the truth. There is no illusion of it, only a psychopath would want to get out of prison by having 'diminished responsibility' due to insanity which is the only way in which someone could be considered to have less free will than most.
Debate Round No. 4
Furyan5

Pro

Like most people con is mistaken about choice. Choice is not real. It is a hypothetical construct of the mind. This is what gives us the illusion of choice. At the moment of action every action is predetermined. A rapist knows his action is wrong but can't control the urge to rape. There are also people who do not know the action is wrong. In this case they are hospitilised in a mental institution. I am not saying we are not liable for our actions. The possibilty of being caught and punished is one of the many potential outcomes of our hypothetical choices. what I'm saying is when it comes time to act, there is only 1 possibility.

Example.... we will always do good if no other vector affects it. ref last round for explanation of vectors. Even a criminal will not commit a crime unless it either benefits him or he likes it. likewise we will not do something we don't like unless its the right thing to do (good) or it benefits us. For example diets.

The determining factor is priority. At any given moment we can only have one priority. Therefore at any given moment we can only have 1 action. As time is just a continuous moment after moment there is no moment we actually have choice.

Thanks con for a interesting debate.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Lol yeah I have that same problem when contemplating. My mind goes off on a tangent. (Just more proof how little control we actually have) if you interested I have a theory concerning where personality comes from which would satisfy both thiests and athiests. And guess what....not one option gives us a choice in the matter. But I see personality as irrelevant anyway as at the moment a decision is made we can only have 1 personality and only be in 1 mood. Think of time as a continuous moment after moment. We can take a snapshot at any moment and at that moment everything comes together leaving us 1 option. Thanks for the term hypothetical constructs of the mind. Its better than saying you have choices because that confuses people into thinking they have choice. Oh I love Sheldon and crew. I kinda see humour as a estimator of intellect.
Posted by CorieMike 1 year ago
CorieMike
I agree we have to trust our perceptions or nothing at all, even though they arent always reliable. I think your analogy about the fish and the river is used to show your grasp on the concept of time. Along the lines of Einstein's theory of special relativity but to say there is a set speed is to misunderstand the theory. However, I hold to ethical nihilism therefore, to derive an ought from an is unjustified (good/evil), everything boils down to subjective preferences/goals. But so far so good. You have illustrated a coherent conception of time and choice. Furthermore, our beliefs boils down to emotions which is a necessary result of our existence, unless we prefer to be intellectually honest, in other words, consistent with our lines of justification. Therefore, one should revise our current beliefs and use that line of reasoning to go wherever it may take them. As I believe the self does subconsciously seek self preservation, psychological egoism seems probable, therefore, it would be in our self interest to make choices consistent with that. However, to say one has a choice is to say one has options, but since only once choice can be made, alternatives simply become hypotheticals/ constructs of the mind. So I dont see effects as anything other than necessary. Also I endorse a cyclical universe hypothesis, so I do not think there can be an end to anything. I know I strayed off topic and with that being said I will leave you with a funny video https://www.youtube.com...
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Look, B time is a posibilty. As is monistic idealism/solipsms. Hell the brain in a jar or simulation within simulation theories could be true. Where nothing we percieve is true. Or maybe, an orange is just an orange and all our theories are nothing but a lame attempt at escaping our triviality. Either way what we perceive is all we have right now. So lets go with it.

This is my visualisation of choice and time.
Time is a fast flowing river and I am a fish. I can never swim faster than the river flows so time always passes at a set speed. Its fun to note that as I swim faster downstream time would seem to pass slower. But forget that. It will confuse my analogy.

Now swimming downstream is good. Upstream is evil. Its easier to swim downstream and that's where my destination is.
The left bank has rapids so I like the right bank Better than the left.
And the surface is dangerous so I prefer to swim deeper.
Ie my ideal is swimmimg downstream, on the right and deep.
Aka good/like/beneficial
As apposed to upstream/left/surface which would be evil/disliked/detrimental.
Now the river throws obsticals in our path which force us to deviate from our ideal path.

Hows it looking so far?
Posted by CorieMike 1 year ago
CorieMike
Apologetics are very good are explaining away these prima facie problems, as pseudo-problems. They argue for a timeless first cause and logical omniscience, which means he always had knowledge. Seem you still have alot to grasp, read my debates and the comments I put here. They will help you get adjusted. Also, you can follow carneades.org on youtube. I highly recommend his videos, they are very philosophically deep.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
ok its gonna take me a while to get that debate. But it reminds me of an issue I have with an eternal God. If he's been around forever why didn't he create the universe a billion years earlier? Or a billion billion. And if nothing but god existed, where did god get the knowledge from to create the universe? Trial and error? Are we maybe just a trail and Gods moved on? Am I making sense or being stupid?
Posted by CorieMike 1 year ago
CorieMike
I beg to differ. I prefer the B theory of time over the A theory (see my debate on the kalaam is unsound). A choice is an act/desire. Actions/desires represent verbs as they require time. Thoughts are the process of thinking http://www.thefreedictionary.com... . Thinking is a sequence of events, which requires time. Moments cannot be defined without alluding to time. I read your debate, it is basically one against simultaneous causation. As you stated one cannot like and dislike something at the same time, which is evidently contradictory. For eg. If causality holds (PSR=Principle of Sufficient Reason), then causes can be simultaneous with their effects, if not, what would be happening during the delay of an effect? Keep in mind the whole notion of nothing is incoherent. Now time (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and change does not mean the same thing. You are concerned with causality, to defend this with certainty other than through inductive inference, requires you to address how moments can't be simultaneous. If they can be simultaneous, then it undermines the whole notion causality itself, as one would not be able to decipher a cause from its effect. Causes are only determined due to the flow of time due to entropy. If time is illusory, our notion of causality doesnt stand up against scrutiny.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Thanks. I did. Only one I'm stuck on is PSR. Sorry I'm new at this.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
But time is not illusory. Its what makes my argument valid. Past and future are irrelavant at the moment of choice. All thoughts and external events are at a standstill. Only what has happened until that point in time is relevant to your decision. Even one second later your views can change. But that is not the moment we concerned with. Pls refer to my debate Blue or Chicken for a deeper explanation.
Posted by CorieMike 1 year ago
CorieMike
Munchhausen's trilemma http://en.wikipedia.org.... I'll check it out
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
gonna have to google the meaning of a couple of those words as well as Munchowzens whatever. But thanks for your input. If you'd like pls review my debate "Belief in God is subjective" its a new idea and still rough but I believe it warrents further debate.
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